Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

Yellow vest protesters urge French citizens to empty bank accounts

Yellow vest protesters urge French citizens to empty bank accounts

The Yellow Vest protests, which started as a reaction to fuel tax hikes and evolved into a protest against French President Emmanuel Macron, have continued despite the government's call for them to halt.

French Sen. Bruno Retailleau welcomed the prime minister's announcement of the new legislative proposal, writing on Twitter that "hooded" troublemakers who took part in protests "must be severely punished".

In future, Philippe said, the onus would be on "the troublemakers, and not taxpayers, to pay for the damage caused" to businesses and property during the protests, which began peacefully in mid-November over taxes but quickly became radicalized.

Several men driving a forklift truck also smashed open the doors of the ministry of government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux in Paris, who denounced the break-in as an "unacceptable attack on the republic".

"Those who question our institutions will not have the last word", Philippe said, announcing plans to deploy 80,000 security force members nationwide for the next round of demonstrations.

Christophe Dettinger, known as "The Gypsy From Massy" during his days in the ring, turned himself in to police on Monday after videos emerged of him assaulting shield-carrying officers during the demonstrations on Saturday.

"I was at my department this afternoon when "yellow vests" smashed the gate with a construction machine found in the street", Griveaux was quoted as saying, before adding, "They also broke some windows and the ministry's cars are unusable".

Many Yellow Vest demonstrators point to a video showing a police captain beating protesters in the southern city of Toulon at the weekend - and their heavy use of teargas and rubber bullets - to support their claim that the violence runs both ways.

Public anger appeared to have abated over the holiday period; however, the brief arrest on Wednesday of Eric Drouet, one of the leaders of the movement, seemed to have rekindled resentment among his supporters.

Nicolas Tenzer, a political commentator, essayist and former top civil servant, said on French TV that the country faced an "insurrectionist movement driven by the extreme right and left", which has adopted violence as a natural element of its combat. "It needs to end", he told RTL radio.

The protesters have been dubbed the "gilets jaunes" ("yellow vests") because they don high-visibility vests mandated by French law to be carried in every vehicle.

Who Are the "Yellow Vests"?

Law professor Giuseppe Conte has been chosen as Italy's new prime minister by the leader of the 5-Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, and League leader Matteo Salvini. The move underscored the increasingly sour relations between Rome and Paris, which have previously clashed over immigration policy, among other issues.

Like this: